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Graduation rate in Iowa edges up to all-time high


This news story was published on March 13, 2019.
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DES MOINES – Iowa’s high school graduation rate edged up in 2018 to an all-time high of 91.4 percent, underscoring long-term progress, according to figures released today by the Iowa Department of Education.

“This latest success is directly tied to our strong K-12 education system and Iowa’s innovative, engaging approach to education, which shapes the lives of our young people as well as the economic vitality of our state,” said Gov. Reynolds. “We’re transforming how students learn by connecting what they’re taught in the classroom to the career opportunities that a 21st century economy demands.”

“High school graduation is a critical step for all students because it opens the door to postsecondary education and training opportunities,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “I’m pleased to see our graduation rates are up, reinforcing that our long-term trend is on the rise. This is a testament to the state’s committed educators and the roadmap we have in place for education.”

State data show 91.4 percent of students in Iowa’s Class of 2018 graduated within four years, up from 91 percent for the Class of 2017. Since 2011, Iowa’s four-year graduation rate has climbed 3.1 percentage points overall, with significant long-term gains in nearly every student demographic subgroup (see chart below). For example, graduation rates for Hispanic students have increased 8.7 percentage points and African American students have increased 8.1 percentage points since 2011.

The State Board of Education has set a 95 percent goal for the statewide graduation rate.

Today’s graduation rate data should not be confused with data released in January by the National Center for Education Statistics, which showed that Iowa leads the nation in graduation rates for the 2016-17 school year.

Iowa graduation rates are calculated with a formula established by the U.S. Department of Education. Unique student identification numbers allow school districts to account for all ninth-grade students as they move through high school. At the state level, the method helps determine when a student graduates, even if the student has switched districts in Iowa during high school.

Iowa’s five-year graduation rate – which reflects students who were part of a graduating class but took an extra year to finish high school – was 93.3 percent for the Class of 2017, down slightly from 93.4 percent for the Class of 2016.

Iowa’s annual dropout rate reflects the percentage of students in grades 9-12 who drop out of school during a single year. The annual dropout rate edged down to 2.67 percent during the 2017-18 school year from 2.83 percent for the previous school year.

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26 Responses to Graduation rate in Iowa edges up to all-time high

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 15, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Everyone says that “if teachers would do their jobs”. The teachers job is to teach, the students job is to learn. If the student does not learn the necessary skills to pass from one grade to another, it’s the teachers job to fail the student, hold them back a grade, until they have earned the right to progress by learning the necessary skills.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    There are certain expectations of knowledge when students graduate from high school. Sadly the extent of this knowledge is often decided by the teacher or the principal. So if a student graduates with less than the required knowledge, one has to look at the teachers who allowed this to happen. If homework is not done or is poorly done, and the teacher accepts it, this hurts the student. If class participation is not within accepted limits, and the student is passed on to another grade, how does the student hope to catch up? And if it happens in the lower grades, and the future teachers keep passing the student on, they are also culpable.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      What did the parents do all those years? Most likely they were unwilling or incapable of helping that child and instilling in him or her a need for learning. Most studies show that a child’s aptitude for learning is developed before they enter school. In other words, it starts at home. If a child is not taught that learning is a good thing, an essential thing and although it isn’t always easy, it is necessary if one wants to participate in this world, what would you expect to be when he enters school? It is also not a lower economic problem but it affects children of all social classes. Look at the accused parents who used money to gain their children’s admission into a college they preferred. They also failed their children.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm

        My apologies.You are so right. If parents don’t nurture this seed in their child’s life, the desire to learn will probably not be there. Thank you for bringing up how important this is a young persons life.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 15, 2019 at 8:31 am

          That is nothing more than a excuse for not doing their job. Either do what you are over paid to do or get the hell out.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 15, 2019 at 10:22 am

            You should heed that advice and apply it to your parenting. You should have pulled out.

  3. Avatar

    just saying Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    A great example of failed liberal programs would be the alternative school. don’t have to show up, don’t have to test, don’t have to do anything, don’t have to live by the simple rules that the other students seem to be able to live by.
    Show up every now and again, and you pass. Very sad

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      You have never been in an alternative school, have you?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      You must have been a dropout.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 14, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Have you ever been to the alternative school?
      It is nothing like you describe! This is obviously just your opinion because you have no idea what the facts are.

  4. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    What’s the percentage of Iowa high school/college graduates that leave the state for better paying jobs.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Do graduation rates coincide with the rates of minorities in states? I bet high Afro-American areas have abysmal graduation rates. Gradjeeatchun

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      Good question. What is the ratio of black students vs White student graduating? And where could a person go to get that information.

  6. Avatar

    sad but true Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2019 at 10:29 am

    the graduation rate has gone up because graduation standards have gone down. don’t pat yourself on the back. All you have done is ease the standards and rules. The product is no better

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Talk to some of the NIACC instructors. They will tell you about students with no investigative computer skills, rudimentary library skills, no thesis or term paper writing experience. No cognitive skills whatsoever. Nothing was expected of them in high school, so why should they do anything now.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm

        All taught by liberal teachers.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

          NIACC is too liberal for my liking. I wouldn’t go there if it’s the last place to go, but sadly, most of the education system is. F*IT!

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 13, 2019 at 3:11 pm

            With your lack of smarts, you wouldn’t get into NIACC and they take just about anybody.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

          “All taught by liberal teachers”. What does that have to do with how a student prepares for an assignment? The subject taught is important. The ability of the student to complete the work assignment is important. Don’t meander off on a side issue. Address the one I am focusing on. Not teachers. Not liberalism. Rather the quality of education that students leave high school with. And if the students cared enough to learn, the assets are there for them. They are either too lazy or too spoiled to care.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 13, 2019 at 6:09 pm

            They are not college students to have it thrown at them. They are children and need to be taught and part of teaching is making them like it. If you can’t do that go do something else.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm

          Then they were taught with high quality, honest, caring teachers.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 14, 2019 at 8:06 am

            They were taught by liberal liars who misled children with lies.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 14, 2019 at 4:06 pm

            eLViS is blowing it out his butt again. College students are not children. Some of them are your age. Get a life.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 15, 2019 at 8:33 am

            Look there, Bodacious who is the worse teacher ever hired by Mason City has raised his ugly head. Bodacious is personally responsible for the lack of decent education for our children while stealing money in wages.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 15, 2019 at 12:58 pm

            how would you know that?

      • Avatar

        Harry N. Sach Reply Report comment

        March 17, 2019 at 11:46 am

        NIACC needs to stop giving out free “tuition” to the family members for their staff. I think its wrong for tax-payers to be on the hook for this amount of give-a-ways.